Conclusion of discussion about plant breeding patent law30 June 2017
The European Patent Office is no longer going to grant patents for classically bred plants, so plant breeders are free to cultivate new, stronger plants. The EPO published this decision today at the conclusion of a discussion about patent law that had gone on for years.
- The European Patent Office is no longer going to grant patents for classically bred plants, so plant breeders are free to cultivate new, stronger plants. The EPO published this decision today at the conclusion of a discussion about patent law that had gone on for years.
- Read the entire report here (Dutch)
Lucas Vos, CEO Royal FloraHolland, delighted with this decision
We are very happy with the decision of the European Patent Office to include in its directives that flowers and plants arising from essentially biological breeding processes cannot be patented, said Lucas Vos (CEO Royal FloraHolland).
The Association of Dutch Flower Auctions has argued intensively for years on behalf of the Royal FloraHolland and Plantion cooperatives to convince politicians and policymakers in The Hague and Brussels to take action to preserve free access to plant reproduction material and restrict the patenting of plant material. That measure is in the interest of horticultural breeders, growers, our members and the flower trade, our buyers, and last but not least, consumers.
For the horticultural sector, where hundreds of new varieties are bred every year, innovation is crucial. The Netherlands can only retain its leading position in the horticultural sector if we can offer a broad assortment of varieties at the auctions.
In addition, new varieties are meant to ensure stronger flowers and plants that can be cultivated more sustainably, using less water, nutrients and pesticides.
Access to plant material that is as free as possible for all horticultural breeders, large and small, is therefore crucial. What we have now achieved with this amendment of the directive of the European Patent Office greatly supports this effort. Nevertheless, we shall remain alert. Legislation will have to be continuously checked to ensure that it matches both the technical developments and society's developments and acceptance.
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